Monday, April 15, 2024
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    We prefer Calabar-Odukpani-Itu Highway to Lagos-Calabar Coastal Highway… Radio Callers-in 

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    Nigerians resident in and indigenous to Cross River have expressed their preference for the yet-to-be completed Calabar-Odukpani-Itu Federal Road to the recently initiated Lagos-Calabar Coastal Highway. The Calabar-Odukpani-Itu Highway connects the state with the neighbouring state of Akwa Ibom, other states of the south south geopolitical zone and the entire country by extension.

    They expressed this concern last Saturday via a call-in radio talk show called Political X-ray which is hosted on Sparkling 92.3FM between 8 and 9am every weekend.

    The conversation for last Saturday on the show anchored by Efio-Ita Nyok bothered on the ambitious 700km Lagos-Calabar Coastal Highway, linking not less than 7 states and billed to be completed in 8 years at an estimated N15 trillion.

    One of the callers-in who simply identified as Samuel said amongst other things: ‘We don’t want that kind of elephant project’, on the suspicion that the Calabar axis of the road will not see the limelight of day. The majority of callers-in premised their scepticism for the construction of the Calabar end on previous similar projects which began from other parts of the country and were to terminate at the Cross River end but, never got to be properly terminated. They cited the East-West Road amongst others to substantiate their claims.

    Other callers-in who differed requested for a simultaneous construction of the ten lanes highway from both the Lagos and Cross River ends. They tasked the state government led by Sen. Bassey Edet Otu to engage the federal government on this subject. Last week, Asuquo Ekpenyong Jnr, the lawmaker representing Cross River South at the 10th Senate of the Federal Republic of Nigeria lent his voice to this call for a simultaneous construction.

    The minister for works, Dave Umahi, had disclosed last week that the Calabar axis falls under phase 3 of the project which is aimed to commence in the month of July. Lagos comes under phase 1 which covers 47.4km.

    The Calabar-Odukpani-Itu Highway has been nothing but ill-fated as successive federal governments have failed to either initiate the construction despite budgeting for it in the country’s annual appropriation acts or fail to complete it after initiation of construction. As the wet season sets in, there are fears that this road will be impassable. This is the conviction of a socio-political group called Cross River South Consultative Forum.

    The road project has inspired controversy from notable figures like former vice president and PDP presidential candidate in the 2023 general elections Waziri Atiku Abubakar. Abubakar said the Lagos-Calabar Coastal Highway feeds a selfish interest, a claim Minister Umahi has consistently debunked.

    Group Expresses Concerns Over Political Dynamics in Cross River North, Cautions Otu

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    ...Calls for Caution in Political Relationships

    A socio-political organization based in Bekwarra, known as the Bekwarra Concerned Group (BCG), has issued a statement cautioning against the recent political alignment between the State Governor, Sen. Prince Bassey Edet Otu, and Senator Jarigbe Agom Jarigbe from Cross River North. In a statement signed by Eneji Paul Akonjom and released to the press in Calabar, the group expressed initial optimism about the political collaboration between the Governor and Senator Jarigbe. However, they raised concerns about Senator Jarigbe’s alleged inconsistent behavior, likening it to that of a “chameleon” NEGROIDHAVEN has confirmed.

    The statement tagged “The Jarigbe Factor and the APC, Cross River State: Issues for Consideration,” reads in part: “It was initially heartwarming when we heard of the political romance between you and Sen. Jarigbe Agom Jarigbe. In fact, I considered it a harmless, symbiotic relationship. As good as your intentions would be in that relationship, unfortunately,Your Excellency, Sen. Jarigbe is only playing the Chameleon.”

    The statement highlighted a recent incident involving Hon. Signor Omang Idiege, a prominent figure from Bekwarra, who visited the Governor along with stakeholders to pledge their loyalty. According to the statement, Senator Jarigbe allegedly undermined the visit by taking the group to Vandekya, Benue State, where he purportedly discussed plans to deviate from his political understanding with the Governor regarding the 2027 elections.

    Furthermore, the group accused Senator Jarigbe of planting moles within the Governor’s camp to gather sensitive information for his own political gain. They claimed that Hon. Idiege, one of the stakeholders who visited the Governor, was allegedly bribed with ₦5 million, while others received sums totaling ₦30 million from Senator Jarigbe.

    The statement also addressed recent defections of APC members in Bekwarra, attributing them to Senator Jarigbe’s alleged manipulative tactics. However, it stopped short of making direct accusations without substantial evidence.

    The group urged the Governor to remain vigilant and suggested that the proposed Caretaker Committee for Bekwarra should be led by individuals with proven grassroots impact and democratic credentials. They emphasized the importance of selecting candidates based on merit rather than political allegiances.

    “The solution lies in our party making more grassroots impact in Bekwarra.” “Jarigbe,” he furthered, “is a grassroots Politician and may I suggest that the proposed Caretaker Committee for Bekwarra should be headed by one with the requisite pedigree and is reputed for effective grassroots mobilisation and impact.”

    The statement maintained that by the reason of such appointments “the people of Bekwarra will naturally look away from Jarigbe.”

    It further said one who won the last general elections in his polling unit is eminently qualified for the Caretaker Committee Chairmanship, while urging the Governor to do a dispassionate assessment of the results of the said election as a guide for the appointment.

    The statement urged the APC to address the concerns raised regarding Senator Jarigbe’s actions tactfully, emphasizing the need for fair and transparent political processes.

    Lagos-Calabar Coastal Highway: Lawmaker urges expansion to include simultaneous construction from Calabar axis

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    There are agitations for the simultaneous construction of both the Calabar end and Lagos axis of the ongoing Lagos-Calabar Coastal 10 lanes highway. This is premised on fears that the Calabar axis may be abandoned before the completion of the 8 years project NEGROIDHAVEN can report.

    Construction has officially commenced on the highly anticipated Lagos-Calabar coastal superhighway, heralded as one of Africa’s most iconic infrastructure projects. The 700km, 5-lane apart dual carriageway, featuring a train track running through its middle, will traverse several coastal states in southern Nigeria, with two spurs extending to Northern Nigeria.

    Senator Asuquo Ekpenyong Jnr. lauded President Bola Ahmed Tinubu for embarking on this ambitious venture, emphasizing the project’s potential to stimulate economic growth. He urged for an expansion of phase 1 to include simultaneous construction from the Calabar axis, to expedite economic benefits for the Southern Senatorial District of Cross River State.

    Ekpenyong’s remarks came during a courtesy visit to President Tinubu’s Lagos residence, where he, alongside the Senate President, Speaker, and members of the National Assembly, congratulated the President on the project’s commencement. He highlighted its significance in supporting the infrastructure revolution spearheaded by the Governor Bassey Otu-led administration in Cross River State.

    The Lagos-Calabar Coastal Superhighway’s first phase spans 47.4km, beginning from Ahmadu Bello Way in Victoria Island, Lagos, and passing through strategic points such as the Lekki Deepsea Port, Ogun, Ondo, Delta, Bayelsa, Rivers, and Akwa Ibom, before culminating in Cross River State. The project, contracted to High Tech Construction Company, aims to integrate North and South Nigeria, facilitating the movement of goods and services.

    Despite its transformative potential, the project has not been without controversies. The Lagos State Government has issued a demolition notice to Landmark Beach Resort Side, sparking concerns over land acquisition and environmental impact. The estimated cost of the project stands at N15 trillion.

    With its scale and scope comparable to iconic coastal highways like the Pacific Coastal Highway in the US and the Wide Atlantic Highway in Ireland, the Lagos-Calabar Coastal Superhighway promises to redefine transportation infrastructure in Nigeria, driving economic development and regional integration.

    C/River Governor Grants Automatic Employment to Ex-Corps Member Who Honored Father in Viral Video

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    Cross River State Governor, Senator Bassey Otu, has extended a gesture of automatic employment to Miss Arit Abam, a former corps member, in recognition of her heartfelt tribute to her father’s sacrifices for her education. Arit gained widespread attention after posting a viral video on social media, wherein she marched towards her father in their village, offering a military-style salute and presenting him with her NYSC jacket and face-cap as tokens of appreciation.

    Governor Umo Enoh of Akwa Ibom State was moved by Arit’s act of gratitude and her father’s sacrifices, leading to a delegation visiting Ugep, Yakurr local government area of Cross River State for verification. Governor Enoh pledged to build a three-bedroom flat for the Abam family in acknowledgment of their sacrifices. Governor Otu commended Governor Enoh’s gesture, highlighting the strong bond between the sister states.

    In a meeting hosted by Governor Otu, Arit was urged to serve as an example for youths in Cross River and beyond. Arit, a Mass Communication graduate from Temple Gate Polytechnic, Aba, Abia State, expressed gratitude to Governor Otu for the opportunity, viewing it as encouragement to uphold cultural standards and values while thanking God for the goodwill earned through her simple act of gratitude.

    Governor Otu granted Arit the privilege to choose any ministry, department, or agency within the state civil service for her employment. Prof. Owan Enoh, Secretary to the Cross River State Government, and Bishop Margaret Ene-Ita, Commissioner for Social Welfare and Community Development, facilitated Arit’s meeting with the Governor.

    “We are deeply touched by Miss Arit’s gesture and her father’s sacrifices,” stated Nsa Gill, Chief Press Secretary to the Governor of Cross River State. “Governor Otu’s decision to offer her automatic employment exemplifies our commitment to recognizing and rewarding acts of gratitude and sacrifice in our society”, Nsa observed.

    WHY SOME OF MY TEACHINGS SOUND STRANGE TO SOME NIGERIAN CHRISTIANS, ESPECIALLY THE CATHOLICS

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    61 years ago, on October 11, 1962, the Second Vatican Council was opened by Pope John XXIII. It was closed on December 8, 1965, by Pope Paul VI. The council was held in St. Peter’s Basilica, Rome.

    Pope John XXIII convoked the council because he felt the Church needed “updating” (in Italian: aggiornamento) in order to connect with men and women of the 20th century.

    In an “increasingly secularized world, some of the Church’s practices needed to be improved, and its teaching needed to be presented in a way that would appear relevant and understandable” to the men and women of the day, the pope reasoned.

    The innovations ushered in by the Council were not accepted by all. Some were afraid that the changes, like ecumenism, interreligious dialogue, the introduction of vernacular in the mass, the use of local instruments, etc., were against the scriptures and the age-long traditions of the church.

    One of the main opponents of the innovations introduced by Council was the conservative French Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre CSSp, who was at the time the Superior General of the Holy Ghost Fathers. Some members of the Holy Ghost Fathers stood against the conservative ideas of Lefebvre, while others supported him.

    It should be recalled that a greater part of the Nigerian church was in the hands of the Holy Ghost Fathers at that time. Consequentially, Lefebvre’s stand divided the Holy Ghost Fathers in Nigeria as well. The result was that the recommendations of the Council were not given the attention and seriousness that they required in Nigeria. The cold reception of Vatican II in Nigeria explains the reason why many lay faithful in Nigeria till date are not at home with the recommendations of Vatican II. Even our local catechism books were not updated to incorporate the new changes as the Western churches did.

    With the appointment of Francis Arinze as the archbishop of Onitsha in 1967, the Nigerian Church had the opportunity once more to bring the recommendations of the Council home. This was again disrupted as the Nigerian-Biafran war broke out a few weeks later.

    After the 30-month war, the church, especially in the former Biafran region, bothered itself with reconstruction and rehabilitation so much that the recommendations of the Council were no longer given adequate attention. To date, an average Nigerian Catholic is unaware of the changes brought by the Council. That is why we still see Catholics who still see other religions and denominations with a pre-Vatican II eye.

     

    Rev’d. Fr. Angelo Chidi Unegbu

    BETTA EDU; JUNGLE JUSTICE AND WHERE IS HER FATHER & MENTOR PRESIDENT TINUBU?

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    A few days ago I wrote an article entitled “Betta Edu; the continuity of the President’s courage”. Where I stated, inter alia, that there must be continuity in the President’s courage. It takes courage to suspend your minister, it takes courage to investigate her, it takes courage to declare what the investigation has found with her actions as minister and it takes courage to reinstate her.

    It was as if I got an immediate response to that piece. Someone must have taken my piece as Betta’s attempt to lobby for reinstatement and they considered it strategic enough to counter. The very next day it was all over the internet that the EFCC said they have recovered 30 Billion Naira (some reports said dollars) in the suspended minister’s bank account.

    Several persons tagged me to the viral report. I went to EFCC’s page, there was nothing like that there. I told myself, well, at least the awkward silence has been broken. Something is being done. But, alas, the report was false. Dr Betta Edu’s lawyers have written to BBC demanding a retraction and apology, otherwise they will sue for defamation. Nearly, all the news channels which published the false report have taken it down for fear of a lawsuit knowing that the report was not correct.

    What is really going on? Who sponsored that viral false report? I think we know the answer but we are all, consciously or unconsciously, victims of a political jungle justice. Sadly, I think even the President is a victim of this emotional whirlpool witnessing a jungle justice evokes. I’m surprised that the President could be a victim of this jungle justice. I will tell you why presently.

     

    Jungle justice.

    It is the annihilation of an accused person or suspect without giving him the benefit of a trial or fair hearing. They just want to kill the suspect because they are afraid that if you give him a chance to defend himself he might be set free. Proponents of jungle justice are intoxicated with only their own evidence, they don’t want the accused to supply his; most times they want the accused destroyed because they are afraid they don’t have enough evidence to convict him.

    Media trial is jungle justice that went to school. 

    Those who witness jungle justice are also victims. They know it is wrong but they are afraid to lift a finger to protest. They are afraid that they will be accused of being accomplices. This was my fear a few months ago. If you look at the documents in the public domain including the regulation she purportedly breached, you will see grounds to question the legality and morality of the accusations levelled against Dr Betta. But you can’t. You are afraid they will label you a supporter of corruption. So, you sit down and watch the media trial rage on.

    We are all victims of this jungle justice and understandably so, but the President, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, has no excuse for being a victim of this saga. This is Tinubu for God sake. Tinubu who is a legendary mentor and godfather. Here is the same Tinubu throwing his protege, the youngest member of his cabinet to the jackals.

    This is Betta Edu who was the face of Tinubu’s campaign as far as mobilising the women and youths were concerned. When she became the youngest member of his cabinet, the whole world saw it as an opportunity for Tinubu to mentor another world class leader. I mean this is one of Tinubu’s bragging rights: mentoring leaders.

    Dr Betta never took this for granted. She easily became the face of the Tinubu’s administration, especially when it comes to poverty alleviation. She was going into slums, nooks and crannies no minister in living memory has ever gone to… This is the same Betta that Tinubu has turned into a pawn in the chessboard of political whoremongers.

    Asiwaju is a cabal all by himself, so, I don’t believe any narrative that a cabal is playing the music he is dancing to. Which cabal? Jagaban? Tinubu is not Buhari na. And talking about Buhari and Tinubu, it is interesting to see that we have moved from a Buhari who was over protective of his ministers to a Tinubu who is throwing his ministers under the bus. Tinubu’s ministers look afraid and cagey. No one is bold enough to speak for the Government or you will be the next target. I wonder why those pushing this from within can’t see that it will make the President unpopular among women and youths.

    Now, this is not a Betta Edu image laundering piece. Betta and her supporters can do that for her, even though we have not heard from Betta since her suspension. The point of this piece is to point out the dastardly media trial, with concocted falsehood, that Betta is being subjected to. It can happen to anyone. All we want are answers to simple questions: did Betta do anything not approved by the Villa? If no, and if nothing incriminating has been found against her, when will the president find the courage to reinstate her?

    As for Betta and Tinubu, na them sabi themselves. Betta used to brag that Tinubu is her father. Na so father dey treat pikin? Will Tinubu treat Seyi like that? She has been left all by herself, for 3 months she has been in solitude, emotionally bastardized, not engaging with anyone, possibly battling mental health issues, with her young career in the balance and her tattered reputation as a legacy for her children… One would expect her “father” to protect her from all these jackals and media trial but it seems Asiwaju, the mentor, isn’t bold enough to stand up for her. Or will he find courage at some point to protect his daughter and end all these media trial?

    Young Nigerians who she inspired are watching, women all over the world are watching. This is not the President, Father, Mentor, Jagaban this young woman almost lost her life for during election campaigns. In the end, we will find out if young people are simply cannon fodders for political aggrandisement.

     

    – First Baba Isa (FBI) is Legal Practitioner and write from Abuja.

    meandisa@gmail.com.

    How Utsu Became King… By Agba Jalingo

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    Warning: Long read!

     

    Once upon a time, an only child christened, Utsu, was born to young parents in a small countryside village that did not have too many residents. It was a viable, closely knitted, waterside community where everyone knew everyone.

    Utsu, was born like every other happy child to happy parents that celebrated his arrival with the joyous community. Utsu went to the small community school. He accompanied his parents to the farm and the village market, like every other child in the community. He will also often accompany his mother to ‘Katée-gbêl’ market in the township to sell the surplus harvest from the farm.

    Utsu finished his little education and arranged with two of his friends to move to the township in search of greener pastures. When he broke the news to his parents, they were heartbroken and wept, that their only child was leaving them behind in the village alone. Utsu assured them he was only going to look for greater opportunities so he could return and take good care of them and their little community. The parents were consoled.

    As the date for their departure approached, the anxiety of the parents was still palpable within the cold and silent mud walls of their little thatched home. Utsu will eavesdrop at the whispers of his parents as they lament his looming absence in the darkness of their dingy home, and wallow in misty melancholy. Those few days were the longest for a small contented family that had never worried about what life could not afford them. Little did they know that a greater tragedy that will wreck their little happiness and extend their misery was lurking in the horizon.

    An old hand woven rickety bag was used to pack the two clothes that Utsu was carrying along. The bag was actually a gift from his late grandmother to his own mother. A few food items and spices were also wrapped in banana leaves and packed in one corner of the bag. Everyone slept earlier after agreeing with his two friends to wake up early and begin the long journey on time. There is no motorable road to their far flung forest community, so the journey is going to be a long one by foot to exit the bushes and cross the streams.

    The parents woke Utsu very early as agreed and asked him to get prepared before his friends arrived. They said a prayer for him and gave him rain water the mother had collected, to drink. They were waiting for his friends to arrive so the journey could commence. The friends were delaying and Utsu decided to look outside, out of anxiety. Dawn was approaching, his friends were nowhere to be found and that wasn’t their plan. He told his parents he wants to walk down the foot path under the tall pears and kola nut trees, to check on them and ensure their journey begins. The parents tried to calm his nerves, asking him to be more patient but Utsu wasn’t going to have any of that.

    Once he moved, he decided to run to make it faster and as he approached the thick shadows of the village trees, he sent out a loud scream that quickly attracted his parents and other neighbors. What is the matter Utsu? Everyone asked. The anxious parents and neighbors kept asking what the matter was, but unfortunately for them, even Utsu himself was lost about what happened to him. He simply discovered that, he could not move one of his limbs and couldn’t stand again.

    He was carried back to his parent’s hut and a perplexed community kept wondering what exactly had happened to Utsu. But it turned out that for the next 30 years, that became the fate to befall Utsu and the agony of his parents just began. Things changed so rapidly and their fate crashed so terribly that even the entire community abandoned them. They did not see it coming and were not prepared for it.

    As the months passed and the years, Utsu lost his two limbs and one of his eyes due to inability to access medical care. His parents, who had become aged, had to now carry their only child, upon whom they once hung their hopes, on a cane couch, to help him do everything including defecation, and just waiting for the day he will die. There was no hope of recovery. Only hope of transition. The family became the example of misfortune that everyone in the community was quoting, after concluding that what happened to them was a curse from the gods.

    Then another tragedy struck. Utsu lost his precious dad and the mother became a widow at a weak and old age with Utsu permanently tied to a cane couch, incapable of doing anything. The community had to reluctantly find a place to bury the father so he would not decay and stench the village. It was that bad. Five other gruelling years passed and even Utsu’s friends that traveled to the township after his unfortunate strange illness had not bothered to check how he was doing.

    Then something happened one day. Menacing strangers from a far distance had arrived the quiet community. There was tension everywhere. The Chief of the community quickly invited the strangers who came in horses. After exchanging, not very friendly pleasantries, they asked to see the Chief privately because they had a very important message from the King of the neighboring Kingdom who had been bedridden for several years too. That message was what was going to transform the life of Utsu and his mother and the community to a fantastic story you have barely heard.

    A flying seed from a tall Baobab tree standing on a farmland belonging to the late father of Utsu, had traveled from the little village through their streams to the River in the neighboring Kingdom. A “Dibia” who was treating the King for years had been looking for Baobab seeds to mix with the fat of a certain animal to produce a concoction that will heal the King of his affliction. Yet the entire Kingdom had no Baobab and didn’t know where to find it.

    A fisherman, picked the seed from the River and ran to the Dibia’s hut shouting; “Yes, I found Baobab, long live our King. Our King shall not die!” The Baobab seed saved the life of the King and he wanted to know where the tree is. He sent secret emissaries who traced the seeds to a tree in Utsu’s little community. And it turned out the tree was standing on Utsu’s father’s farmland. When the message was taken back to the King, he demanded to see the owners of the land where the Baobab tree stood.

    He came with all his majesty to the small village and saw the squalor in which the owner of the land that grew the Baobab that saved his life, is living in, he was greatly moved to tears. He took Utsu away for medical attention in the city. It was successful. He built his mother a new house and upon the construction of the house, a large deposit of precious metals were discovered in the land as well. The King brought miners to the village and changed the fortune of the entire community.

    Utsu, after his successful treatment, returned from the city into unimaginable wealth. His mother had become the head of the community women and their new house became a beehive of women from across the neighboring villages. She now had a chieftaincy title. Utsu became a philantropist in the community that worked with the King and government to expand the interest of his community. He built schools and hospitals from the royalties paid to him. The Chief of the community passed on after 8 years and Utsu was unanimously crowned King of his now vastly expanded and developed town.

    This is purely fiction and I hope the lesson is learnt. That a flying seed will remember you. That God will take your seed to a place where it is needed to save a life and your value will be located. Thank you for your time.

    That is the story of how Utsu became Utsu, Indeed. Utsu means, “King” in Bette language.

     

    Yours sincerely

    Citizen Agba Jalingo.

    EFIK IS THE ORIGIN OF IBOM AND EFIOM EKPO IS EFIK: A REBUTTAL…. © Efikpedia Esoterica, 2024

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    ©Efikpedia Esoterica, 2024

    Traditionally and constitutionally, an Efik native is defined by origin and birth, as any person who genuinely and/or rightly traces his/her ancestry (paternity and/or maternity) to either Atai or Efiom Ekpo dynasty (Hogan et al, 2000;2010; 2023;2024). Note that GENUINELY and RIGHTLY are deliberately used to suggest that the process of tracing one’s origin as Efik must be in accordance with known truth, fact or reality; and must lexically, structurally, genealogically follow Efik approved proper naming pattern to at least 7th generations or descendancy line from affected tracer (Hogan, 2005). This act or process is specifically called UTIÑ EMANA, not UTIÑ IDEM or UTIÑ NTAK, as inferred under).

    Accordingly, that history recorded the Efiom Ekpo’s bloodline as being partly traced to Uruan, patrilineally, specifically due to the “illicit royal admixture” that led to “a glorious outcome of a natural integration”, does not ethically negate the fact that the Efiom Ekpo’s are lawfully Efik natives by origin and ancestry as defined above. Of course, they are maternally Ekei Atai descendants and indeed, the most known, most influential and most accomplished “Efik royal dynasty” in Old Calabar.

    Besides, that Efik is historically a globally reputed “diasporan nation” that triumphantly sojourned through many international and local places; particularly from its “original-oriental- Mesopotamian-Egypt-Sudan region in circa 10th pro 11th century A.D, to arrive now Nigeria in circa 13th A.D; thro sub-Saharan African-caravan trade routes etc, affirms why Efik has undisputed experiential feats… as Nigeria’s oriental trailblazer from the ancients. In effect, Nigeria’s story is historically incomplete without the mention of the contributions made in the Southern region by ancient Efik integration, intermarriage, political, inter-ethnic, linguistics or religious accomplishments. Recall that Efik was the first political seat of power for Nigeria’s Southern Protectorate and Eastern Region. Also, that, prior to then, Efik was the country’s cradle for Western Civilization, education, International trade, Christianity and tourism from the 13th to 20th Centuries.

    Thus, it is historically not a taboo to delight amongst other things (e.g. Efik rejection of the Igbo’s long juju and Atakpo Uruan Ibibio deities in favour of their Usan Abasi, an issue (s) that respectively ended Efik sojourn in both places), that Efiom Ekpo dynasty (as best known) is rightfully Efik’s most accomplished gains that favoured or balanced Efik maternity against paternity at the apex of defining Efik natives by origin or ancestry.

    Bear in mind that despite being a patriarchy, the Efik kingdom is cosmically, mythologically and transcendentally girded with an ancient spiritism practice that recognizes gender equity and sensitivity in heritage issues. This reality is asserted by the fact that Efik men and women have equal rights of access, worship and appeasement of Ndem, seen as the highest in the realms of ancient Efik polytheism, outside God.

    Further, except for ignorance, cynicism or revisionism sake, there is actually no dispute that IBOM, despite being copied and shared by the Ibibios and equally known to the Igbos, IS ORIGINALLY AN EFIK ORIENTAL WORD, said by some scholars and historians (Effiong, 2010; Aye; 2005; Akak, 1981) to be the corruption of Hebrew’s Gibbom; as seen for instance, in the Efik’s Abasi Ibom and Inyang Ibom.

    Hogan (2023) defined IBOM as an Efik cosmo-mythical oriental word for invincible, ubiquity, limitless and/or ad infinitum extra-mundane being or creature that transcends humanity in creation, origin and age. E.g. God (Abasi Ibom Enyọñ/Ata or Akwa Abasi Ibom); Inyañ Ibom (Sea/Ocean); and the rarely used Enyọñ Ibom (the sky)/Isọñ/Ekondo Ibom (the Earth/cosmic plain/universe). In effect, Ibom is extremely the Efik’s equivalent of the Hebrew’s use of such adjectives like “Omnipresent, Omnipotent and Omniscient” to describe God and/or everything by which He- as A TRINITY- manifests His wonders as the Creator of the universe and humanity (Hogan, 2023).

    Note that Ibom as one of the very first places that Efik ancestors settled in c.13th century when they first arrived now called Nigeria from “the orient” (Aye, 2005), the other place being Otutu in ancient Igbo country… is justified by the equal claim by some historians that the Igbos partly point their origins to Hebrews/orient (Onwuka, 2000). Also note that, the mere fact that Efik ancestors entered Nigeria from the orient with their founding monarch as Ibom Enọ/Enọ Ibom … affirms that the Ibom in Efik history predates the Ibom claimed by the Ibibio. It critically affirms that Ibibio copied it from ancient Efik, during Efik sojourn in Uruan. Mainly through “causative -reciprocal learning and modelling effect of acculturation, integration or intermarriage outcomes (Hogan, 2013 &2023; Bandura, 1972).

    Therefore, it is apparent from the above premises that it is CRITICALLY UNFAIR, AN UNNECESSARY NOISE, FAULTY REVISIONISM or BASELESS CLAIM to paradoxically admit claim that Akwa Ibom State, created from former CRS …is the origin of IBOM/BIGGEST IBOM because the “Akwa” that qualifies its copied “Ibom”, is another shared Efik word translated to “great” (See Efik history for Akwa Akpa and Akwa Duke Ephrom that equally predate the foundation of AKS as further assertions).

    Finally, it is advised that every social media critic/writer that paradoxically lacks sufficient intellectualism, historicity, sagacity or audacity to review, critique or debate Efik history and heritage… should desist from anti-Efik posts, sentiments or baseless claims on/offline.

    WHAT LEARNERS NEED TO KNOW ABOUT THE EFIK WORD ABASI © Efikpedia Esoterica, 2024

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    Definitively, the Efik word-ABASI does not translate to God Almighty as many people often erroneously think. Rather, Abasi is Efik generic name for whatever thing or being is being venerated, deified or designed and trusted as the basic source of humans’ existence hope or faith in material or non- material object of culture and/or religion (Hogan, 2024).

    Therefore, Abasi could be a living or non-living thing; a natural or super- natural being; an animal, tree, rock, an artwork and/or totem… but not necessarily God …as expatiated below.

    TYPES OF ABASI

    1. ABASI IBOM

    Directly translated to Ibom deity, this phrase generally refers to ever god/extra-mundane being that naturally/spiritually exists in boundless bodies as the open space (sky) and mighty waters as the seas/oceans called INYAÑ IBOM in Efik. This precisely includes but is not limited to Ndem (marine deities) and/or “air spirits” with unlimited reach/boundless existence.

    2. ATA ABASI/AKWA ABASI IBOM ENYỌÑ

    Despite being mostly used as “Abasi Ibom” in 1. above to mean the shortened form of the Efik name for God, it remains a fact that Efik rightly calls God- ATA or AKWA ABASI/ABASI IBOM ENYỌÑ, translated to THE REAL GOD or ALMIGHTY GOD OF HEAVEN. Note against doubt that this truth…. is self-explained and/or asserted by the use of ATA (real), AKWA (Almighty, Great or Mighty), and EYOÑ (Heaven, Space) to differentiate God from the gods of the waters and air. Late Chief Peter Effiom corroborated it when he sang; “Akwa Abasi Ibom Enyọñ Nyaña Nditọ fo” (Almighty God of Heaven safe your children). He equally sang- “Etinyin ke Enyọñ o, ATA ABASI….”

    3. ABASI UBỌK OWO

    This is Efik general name for man made gods. They include but are not limited to idols, totems, ancestral spirits (MBUKPO), Juju (IBỌK) and NDEM.

    4. ABASI ISỌÑ

    This is a broader name for 3.above. It is mainly used when directly or indirectly comparing/ constrasting between ATA ABASI [IBOM ENYỌÑ] and deities/man made gods.

    “You are a good mother”… Ekpenyong felicitates Governor’s wife as she turns 60

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    Today, 10th April marks the day of birth of Her Excellency Rev’d Eyoanwan Otu, the wife to the governor of Cross River state.

    The lawmaker representing Cross River South at the 10th Senate of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Asuquo Ekpenyong Jnr., has felicitated with Rev’d Otu.

    Otu took to page 25 of The Nation newspaper to express his felicitation as he described Her Excellency as “a good mother”.